The Sarah Silverman Program: Season Two Vol. One
There is an old nursery rhyme that states that little girls are made of ‘sugar and spice and everything nice.’ While this may apply in general, in the specific case of comedian Sarah Silverman it might be better phrased as ‘pot stems, used condoms, and a cigarette butt.’ Silverman is a vulgar potty mouth which is extremely funny in an adult’s only sort of way. She certainly doesn’t look like someone capable of spouting one crass epithet after another. Silverman is a pretty young woman with a certain wholesome look about her. She plays on this letting her audience see her as someone any guy would bring home to meet his parents when her language is such that would make the saltiest sailor blush. The fact is she is one of the sharpest political and social satirists around today. Silverman can make so how ridiculous subjects like racism; sexually preference prejudice, and general hatred is by taking on the persona of a young woman who is against everything but her selfish pleasure. While Silverman has been a regular on the stand-up comedian circuit for years now, she recently was given her series by Comedy Central. Since her methodology for humor is not something that is in any fashion family friendly, she had to wind up on cable. Even then Comedy Central has given her a later time slot. Her series is part of the ribald set of shows that include ‘South Park’ and ‘Drawn Together.’ Many may be thinking that a series built around such a premise would not make it even on Comedy Central, but it turned out to be one of their biggest hits. After the first season, Silverman had managed to create quite a stir with its controversial topics. Any publicity is good, so Comedy Central didn’t care if people tuned in enjoy or gather more evidence of how wicked Silverman is. The fact is they watched. The second season was interrupted by the now infamous Writer’s strike, so this DVD, listed as ‘Season 2 Volume 1’. If you find extreme sarcastic humor to your taste, then this is something just right for you.
The series is about Sarah Silverman. Silverman is playing an exaggerated form of her own on stage personality. The real Sarah is sharp and witty even if she does express herself in less than politically correct verbiage. This television version of Sarah is an adult according to the calendar but in every respect is still a child. Sarah is emotionally stuck in those terrible twos when a child is convinced that the whole world is there for their amusement. Although she is childlike, Sarah is also sexually active. This is consistent she her personality is all about self-gratification. This is a brilliant setup when you think about it. The topics discussed in each episode are very difficult and bound to polarize the audience. By filtering the world through the viewpoint of a childlike young woman like Sarah the writers can make jokes that if played out on a completely adult level would fail. Sarah has a certain innocence about her. She is almost always on the wrong side of any given issue, but it is more out of not knowing than outright disrespect. She is unable to see the world outside her own limited experience. For Sarah, if it doesn’t affect her personally, it doesn’t matter. All of the horrible things she winds up doing are from this place; a person with no ability to sympathize with others. There is a strange internal logic to all of her actions. Mostly they have nothing to do with the reality outside of her head, but she sees it as the right way to act.
In the first episode, Sarah is blissfully asleep and is awakened by the chime of church bells. She gets up and still dressed in her fuzzy slippers, and sleepwear marches into the church demanding to see the manager. The pastor tries to explain that the bells are an ancient expression of their faith, but all that concerns Sarah is not able to sleep in. Two young women follow her and tell Sarah that they agree that the pastor has lost touch with what is important. Sarah is pleased to hear people think that she is right. Back at the apartment house Sarah’s friend Brian (Brian Posehn) and his boyfriend Steve (Steve Agee) starting their day. Steve has been planning a special date for them, but friends of Steve come in to play a Dungeons & Dragons type game. Sarah winds up joining a community group with the women she met. As she soon discovers they are extremely anti-abortion and plan on bombing a local women’s clinic. At the protest the next day one of the policemen looking on is Officer Jay McPherson (Jay Johnston) who is Sarah’s sister Laura’s boyfriend. Silverman’s real-life sister plays Laura. She is a nurse and volunteers at the clinic. For Sarah, she is just having fun with her new friends and is completely oblivious of the actual issues or debate. When the doctor passes by he says hello to Sarah. She tells her new friends that he is her abortionist and that she had three or so abortions. She is upset when the women tell her she can’t have any more abortions.
All six episodes here are equally outrageous. In one Sarah become fascinated with how her dog can like his butt and decides to taste it to see why he is into it. This may seem gross, and it is, but once again there is the childlike view of the world where she needs to do something to try to understand it. One of the most controversial topics of the first season was when Sarah has a one-night stand with God. She is at it again trying to maintain a sexual relationship with Him only to feel that He is overly needy. Still, she wants to show Him off at an upcoming high school reunion. One episode that resulted in quite a stir recently is when Sarah is refused entry to a country club. The reason was she is not a member, but she is sure it was because she is Jewish. After talking to a black friend Sarah wants to see what it is like to be black and starts going around in minstrel show blackface. No matter what the story for an episode is about you can be certain that it will be irrelevant.
Silverman knows how to push the buttons with her audience. She is insulting, but always in that, I’m too innocent to know better fashion. It takes some getting used to appreciate her unique brand of comedy fully. The fact remains that underneath all the politically incorrect statements and actions there is a biting satire at work. After you get done laughing there is always something left behind that will cause you to think. This is a prime example of our first amendment right to free speech. You may not agree with Silverman or even like her, but she is free to say what is on her mind. This is a funny series for those that can take the often-harsh treatment of the issues explored. Certain episodes have commentary tracks with Sarah and her co-stars. There is also a second disc that contains little shorts that spotlight her cast and friends.
Posted 10/02/08 Posted 05/02/2019